Not a Business
This is a hobby project, meaning that in here there’s a lot of perceived value in having fun, pacing myself, keeping things lean and sticking to my ideals.
Sustainability is a goal, profit isn’t. Traditional ads will never have a place here, which means there’s no incentive to making things inefficient: I want you to be able to find a recipe and get to cooking as quickly as possible, not keep you using this site for long just so that I can show you a lot of ads.
Feel free to contact me about bugs, feature requests, etc via e-mail:
contact |AT| gula |DOT| recipes
Autumn 2017, I decide to fix some of my bad habits and engaged in cooking mostly low-carb meals daily and using r/progresspics and similar as the main weight loss motivation driver.
While the weight was going down, a series of frustrations with the status-quo of searching for recipes started building up: pervasive tracking, ads everywhere, excessive interactivity, subscription walls, rubbish generated content to drive traffic and slow data-heavy pages.
A year and 50+ kg (110 lbs) lost later, I found myself wanting to give back to the community, but unable to do so since sharing my success story via before/after pictures triggered too many concerns related to privacy and misuse (and self confidence, of course).
Meanwhile, I started writing a simple tool to help me manage the somewhat big list of recipe links I had collected over time: A plain-text file wasn’t good enough anymore, the existing websites offering a similar thing hadn’t improved on my gripes over time (quite the opposite).
I quickly found myself writing scrapers for my favorite sites to make it easier to extract the recipes out of the wall of text that usually precedes the real content. After a few iterations of doing just that, things started clicking and I went from a small hand-crafted database of about 100 recipes to 10.000 recipes with little effort; A few more tweaks and forgetting the crawler running overnight left me with around 100.000 recipes.
And then things got interesting :-) Growing this to the current 1+M database size took more time than effort and I finally had something that I could do to keep me entertained for a while and give back to the community: a recipe search engine that doesn’t have all of those annoying things we all have to deal with in today’s web.
This project couldn’t have been made at a reasonable pace without the help of open source and/or freely distributed packages. Some highlights are:
- The SVG icons come from the IcoMoon free icon pack, licensed as CC BY 4.0
- The Bulma CSS Framework made my life a lot easier since front-end technologies are not my forte
- Lucene powers the search functionality and reading its code always teaches me a lot.
- Every open source library and tool used by the subprojects in the gula.recipes organization.